“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich
If only someone would understand me!’ What a significantly large number of people in this world yearn for understanding. The need to be understood is a basic need, and yet, how few of us have the good fortune to have this need fulfilled completely. And why is this?
To understand we have to listen, and to listen we have to use far more than our ears. What most tend to do is to hear, rather than listen. When you ‘hear’, your conditioning, your belief system, and your opinions, colour this process, and you hear what you believe that you have heard. It might surprise you to learn that another’s words pass through many layers of your filters before they reach your mind where they can be processed. Each layer of the filter removes more and more of what the other wishes to convey. The result? Misunderstanding, conflict, disharmony.
What follows in the wake of this awareness are three very significant questions: What is listening? Why do we not listen? How can we access the magnetic force that is Listening?
Listening is an inner process that extends beyond the limitation of the physical to the vitality of Spirit. It knows no distance, heeds no time, needs no words, and wants no validation. You hear what lies outside; you listen to that which is within. Listening is a soundless force that carries the loudest clarion call of the soul. Listening is the truest form of meditation.